Success in Vietnam: Expanding Water Distribution Through ICT Infrastructure

With a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s center for commerce and industry, and it is increasingly adopting a strategy of utilizing information and communications technology (ICT) to modernize the most critically important aspects of its public infrastructure.

In 2017, USTDA completed a specially designed program of technical assistance for the Saigon Water Corporation (SAWACO) in order to plan a more efficient distribution network using ICT. USTDA’s assistance also paved the way for SAWACO to obtain essential financing from the Asian Development Bank, which provided the necessary capital to generate business opportunities for American-based suppliers and lay the foundation for a transformed water delivery system across Vietnam’s largest city.

Additionally, USTDA’s technical assistance provided SAWACO with ICT architecture recommendations, as well as a full range of policies, standards and procedures to support its overall managerial and operational efficiency. The USTDA-supported first phase of SAWACO’s project led to contracts for American firms with technical knowledge and technology-based expertise for the integration of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and geographic information systems (GIS) into the management of the city’s water supply.

Currently, SAWACO distributes water to more than 1.5 million households. These new investments will strengthen and expand the city’s transmission and primary pipe network to increase coverage and improve distribution. When fully realized, this project will greatly expand water supply throughout the city, especially to Ho Chi Minh City’s suburbs, potential customers in industrial zones and several neighboring provinces.

Vo Quang Hien, SAWACO’s Project Management Unit Director, said: “The relationship between USTDA and SAWACO is getting closer and closer. We have been working with USTDA since 2009, and with a long-term cooperation history, we highly appreciate and fully trust this great assistance. USTDA has created a priceless opportunity for SAWACO to utilize new advanced technology as well as many U.S. ICT firms. Because of the marvelous achievement, we look forward to working with USTDA in the future.”

Summarizing the success, USTDA’s Chief Operating Officer and Head of Agency Todd Abrajano said, “Our partnership with Vietnam will advance the operations and management of the water supply in Ho Chi Minh City. We see this as a lasting success that will not only bring potable water to more households but also create new job opportunities in the ICT sector through the delivery of U.S. knowledge and expertise.”

November 16, 2020